Mayor David Briley on August 15 announced the creation of the Mayor’s Council on the State of Women to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage.
Established through Executive Order #10, the Council will serve in an advisory capacity to the Mayor’s Office on women’s issues and will focus on increasing civic engagement and access to opportunity for women throughout and beyond the centennial year, August 18, 2019, to August 18, 2020.
“Nashville has been leading on progressive issues for years, and the Council on the State of Women will continue that tradition,” said Mayor Briley.
“I see today as a direct link between the women who fought so hard to earn the right to vote 100 years ago and this Council, made up of some of the most passionate women in our community.
Together, we will build a brighter future and a stronger Nashville by increasing women’s access to opportunity and encouraging civic engagement through voter registration and other efforts.”
Subcommittees of the Council will be responsible for the following activities:
- Policy: Develop policy recommendations that increase access to opportunity for women. This work will build from the former Gender Equity Council’s agenda and priorities. This work will directly inform the content of the policy conference on August 18, 2020.
- History and Education: Support for and input into events that elevate the history of and educate the public about the instrumental role Nashville played in the passage of the 19th Amendment.
- Nashville Public Library’s (NPL) permanent exhibit illustrating this history will open in February 2020 and will serve as a major cornerstone and significant resource for all of the group’s work related to history and education.
- Arts and Culture: Celebrate women in the arts through a lens of women’s rights. This work could include but is not limited to promotions for and participation in existing events as well as programming new events and activities.
- Civic Engagement: Develop opportunities for increasing civic engagement, including voter registration, civic education, and efforts to fight voter suppression. The NPL exhibit and related projects will serve a significant role here as well.
- Communications: Produce and distribute branding materials for the summit. Help coordinate communications across the city related to this campaign. Handle all internal and external communications related to Council activities and to the summit.
- The Council will focus on highlighting the history of women’s suffrage while also considering the progress and setbacks of the last 100 years – looking to the future, and working with the Mayor and others to create greater equity for women.
The Council’s work will culminate with a Women’s Summit on August 18, 2020—100 years to the day after Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment and ensured its adoption. During this centennial year, the Council will also support the work of the 19th Amendment Centennial Commemoration collaborative.
Some notable members of the Mayor’s Council on the State of Women include: Anne Davis, Renata Soto and Brenda Wynn as co-chairs; Sen. Brenda Gilmore; Kia Jarmon; and Darkenya Waller.